About On The Ropes

Park Theatre, London
Booking to 4 February 2023
No longer booking

Pulsating with the rhythmic energies of blues, reggae and boxing

Park Theatre and The Production Exchange present the world premiere of On the Ropes – an uplifting musical drama telling one man’s struggle for justice.

On the Ropes richly fuses music, poetry and the duck and weave of the boxing ring into a contemporary drama, that is ultimately a celebration of how courage, dignity and a fighting spirit can triumph over prejudice and injustice. 

On The Ropes runs from 6 January 2023 until 4 February 2023 at Park Theatre, London.

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Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 4 February 2023
Age restrictions
Running time
2 hours 20 minutes (including interval)
Performance days
Evenings: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Matinees: Thursday, Saturday

Performance information is for guidance only. Check booking calendar for details.

What's the story of On The Ropes?

Pulsating with the rhythmic energies of blues, reggae and boxing, On the Ropes is an uplifting musical drama telling the extraordinary story of Vernon Vanriel who arrived in the UK aged 6 with his family as part of the Windrush Generation, and rose to prominence as one of the most charismatic and influential Black British boxers of the 70s and 80s.  

In 2005, having lived in North London for 43 years, Vernon found himself trapped in Jamaica; homeless, penniless and denied access to medical care for a heart condition. What followed was a bare-knuckle fight for his right to citizenship with the British Home Office. 

Who is in the cast of On The Ropes?

The leading role of Vernon is played by Mensah Bediako (Driving Miss Daisy, Much Ado About Nothing, Invisible Me), joined by Ashley D Gayle (Henry VI: RebellionEdward IV in Henry VI: Wars Of The Roses) as Chorus, and Amber James (Wendy & Peter PanSnowflake) as Chorus. 

Who are the creative team of On The Ropes?

On The Ropes is written by Vernon Vanriel and Dougie Blaxland and is directed by Anastasia Osei-Kuffour. 

Set & costume design is by Zahra Mansouri, lighting design by Holly Ellis, sound design by Gareth Fry, production management by Peter Rickards, casting direction by Harry Blumenau and choreography by Gaby Nimo. 

Venue Information

Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, London, N4 3JP
Nearest Tube or Train: Finsbury Park (National Rail, Victoria Line, Piccadilly Line)
Nearest Buses: 210, W3, W10, 4, 29, 153, 253, 254, 259, N23, N253, N279

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